What is OSHA
Today we’re going to look at what OSHA is and what it does for workers all across the nation.
OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created OSHA to ensure safe working conditions by setting and enforcing certain standards and by providing sufficient training and assistance.
By setting standards of safety and comfort for workers, OSHA helps reduce the risk of traditionally dangerous jobs like welding and offshore drilling. It also helps everyday workers by requiring safety equipment as common as earplugs in noisy factories and non-slip surfaces in oily kitchens.
According to the OSH Act, employers must also find and correct safety and health problems by making feasible changes in working conditions rather than JUST relying on personal protective equipment like masks or gloves. Switching to safer chemicals, using enclosures to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to eliminate or reduce risks.
So, everyone from a fast food employee to an oil rig worker benefits from OSHA’s safety standards and care. But how effective has OSHA’s work been?
OSHA and its state partners have dramatically improved workplace safety, reducing work-related deaths and injuries by more than 65%. In 1970, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job. In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that number had fallen to about 5,000.
Inspections to make sure that OSHA rules are not being violated occur regularly and usually without warning the employer so that normal working conditions can be observed. Infractions can be met with a citation or fine, and with severe violators they can be subject to more stringent regulation and observation.
I hope this review of OSHA was helpful. See you guys next time.